https://www.petmd.com/news/rss en The World’s Oldest Known Flesh-Eating Fish Discovered https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/worlds-oldest-known-flesh-eating-fish-discovered-37652 Image via Cosmos Magazine/Facebook
 
 
Paleontologists recently discovered the Piranhamesodon pinnatomus, which is the world’s oldest known flesh-eating fish. Scientists found the fossilized remains in a limestone quarry in the Solnhofen region of Germany.
 
According to Cosmos magazine, the P. pinnatomus lived about 150 million years ago in the late Jurassic period and is the first known bony fish from that time period to have flesh-eating abilities.
 
Before this study, it was believed that the piranha was the first bony fish to develop teeth for flesh biting, which was considered to be a late adaptation by scientists. The discovery of the fossils, however, point to convergent evolution with modern piranhas.
 
“We were stunned that this fish had piranha-like teeth,” Matina Kölbl-Ebert, co-author of the study, tells the outlet. “It comes from a group of fishes--called the pycnodontids--that are famous for their crushing teeth. It is like finding a sheep with a snarl like a wolf. But what was even more remarkable is that it was from the Jurassic.”
 
Scientists also found the remains of potential victims deposited in the limestone with damaged fins, according to the study. “It's a remarkably smart move as fins regrow, a neat renewable resource,” co-author David Bellwood of James Cook University, Australia, tells the outlet. “Feed on a fish and it is dead; nibble its fins and you have food for the future.”
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
US Steals World Record From Scotland for Most Golden Retrievers in One Place
 
Eco-Friendly Building in Austria Protects Wild Hamsters
 
Snapchat Has Announced Face Filters for Cats
 
Endangered Aye-Aye Born at the Denver Zoo
 
Frogs and Toads Are Falling on Heads Amidst a Population Boom in North Carolina
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US Steals World Record From Scotland for Most Golden Retrievers in One Place https://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/us-steals-world-record-scotland-most-golden-retrievers-one-place-37633 Image via goldiepalooza/Instagram
 
 
Goldie Palooza 2018, held in Huntington Beach, California on October 14, grabbed the unofficial world record for having the most Golden Retrievers in one place with 681 in attendance. The event took the title away from the 150th anniversary celebration in Scotland, where there were 361 Goldens present.
 
“This is like heaven,” attendee and Golden owner Laurie Zerbonia tells the Orange County Register while at the event. “There was no way I was going to miss this.”
 
 

 
 
Goldie Palooza is an annual event held by SoCal Golden Retriever Buddies, with the 2018 gathering being only the second one organized. The first Goldie Palooza was held in October 2017 and had more than 350 in attendance “for a day of fellowship and celebration to honor this gentle and beautiful breed,” according to the Goldie Palooza official website.
 
The event included a “Smooch a Golden” kissing booth, a Halloween costume contest, vendors, event merchandise and a raffle for a gift basket.
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Eco-Friendly Building in Austria Protects Wild Hamsters
 
Snapchat Has Announced Face Filters for Cats
 
Endangered Aye-Aye Born at the Denver Zoo
 
Frogs and Toads Are Falling on Heads Amidst a Population Boom in North Carolina
 
Gecko Makes More Than a Dozen Phone Calls While Inside a Monk Seal Hospital
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Eco-Friendly Building in Austria Protects Wild Hamsters https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/eco-friendly-building-austria-protects-wild-hamsters-37632 Photo via iStock.com/Sun_apple
 
 
Austrian real estate development company Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG) hired a landscaping consultant—dubbed “The Hamster Commissioner”—to ensure that their latest renovation project complies with regulations protecting wild hamsters.
 
According to WLRN, BIG was commissioned by the government to renovate the University College of Teacher Education in Vienna, which happens to be the home of about 50 wild common hamsters. As the common hamster is a protected species in Austria, it was essential that the local hamster population stay safe and protected.
 
“Hamster Commissioner” Friedrich Vondruska visits the construction site weekly to ensure the hamster safety measures are being met. Vondruska checks that the active burrows are fenced off, and makes sure there are plenty of hiding spaces for the rodents.
 
“Hamsters need places to hide,” Vondruska tells WLRN. “If there is no places to hide, they will move to another area.”
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Snapchat Has Announced Face Filters for Cats
 
Endangered Aye-Aye Born at the Denver Zoo
 
Frogs and Toads Are Falling on Heads Amidst a Population Boom in North Carolina
 
Gecko Makes More Than a Dozen Phone Calls While Inside a Monk Seal Hospital
 
Unilever's Dove Brand Earns PETA Cruelty-Free Accreditation
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Snapchat Has Announced Face Filters for Cats https://www.petmd.com/news/strange-but-true/snapchat-has-announced-face-filters-cats-37631  
Many pet parents have tried in vain to extend Snapchat filters to pets, but the Snapchat app has not been reliably able to detect pet faces.
 
However, Snapchat has just announced the introduction of cat lenses. With this announcement, the app has been updated to be able to accurately detect a cat’s face. This will allow cat lovers and pet parents to use Snapchat filters for their feline friends.
 

Video via YouTube/Snapchat
 
To figure out which Snapchat filters are cat-friendly, look for a blue paw print in the top right corner of the screen.
 
From the video, it looks like they will be rolling out quite a few Snapchat filters that will make photo shoots with your cats more fun than ever!
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Endangered Aye-Aye Born at the Denver Zoo
 
Frogs and Toads Are Falling on Heads Amidst a Population Boom in North Carolina
 
Gecko Makes More Than a Dozen Phone Calls While Inside a Monk Seal Hospital
 
Unilever's Dove Brand Earns PETA Cruelty-Free Accreditation
 
Dog Breeder Charged With Felony Torture Afgter Illegally Cropping Ears
 
Cats May Not Be the Ultimate Hunters We Thought
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Endangered Aye-Aye Born at the Denver Zoo https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/endangered-aye-aye-born-denver-zoo-37629 Image via Denver Zoo/Facebook
 
 
An aye-aye, one of the rarest and hardest to see animals in the world, was just born at the Denver Zoo—which now houses three of the 24 aye-ayes in captivity. According to the Denver Zoo, there are an unknown number of aye-ayes out in the wild.
 
The female aye-aye, named Tonks, was born on August 8 to parents Bellatrix and Smeagol. While Tonks is currently healthy and thriving in her nest box, her first few days worried scientists, as Bellatrix wasn’t initially providing care for Tonks.
 
“We noticed that Bellatrix wasn’t showing typical mothering behaviors, so we decided to step in to give Tonks some supportive care,” Lead Primate Keeper Becky Sturges says in the release.
 
“We provided 24-hour care for the first week and had to teach Bellatrix how to nurse, but now she is nursing well and Tonks has gained a lot of weight. Now we’re just monitoring them to make sure things continue to go well.”
 
The birth of Tonk is a win for biologists attempting to resuscitate the dwindling aye-aye population.
 
Aye-ayes are distinct-looking creatures, with dark hair, rodent teeth and extra-long claws. They can live up to 20 years old and reach 5 pounds as adults. Native to the remote areas of Madagascar, these lemurs are considered elusive and difficult to spot.
 
Tonks will remain in her nest box for a couple more months before she will be viewable by the public.
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Frogs and Toads Are Falling on Heads Amidst a Population Boom in North Carolina
 
Gecko Makes More Than a Dozen Phone Calls While Inside a Monk Seal Hospital
 
Unilever's Dove Brand Earns PETA Cruelty-Free Accreditation
 
Dog Breeder Charged With Felony Torture Afgter Illegally Cropping Ears
 
Cats May Not Be the Ultimate Hunters We Thought
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Frogs and Toads Are Falling on Heads Amidst a Population Boom in North Carolina https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/frogs-and-toads-are-falling-heads-amidst-population-boom-north-carolina-37628 Image via iStock.com/BoValentino
 
 
Tens of thousands of frogs and toads are now living near North Carolina’s coast, partly as a result of an especially rainy summer. While some are claiming that the explosion of frogs and toads is due to flooding brought on by hurricane Florence, experts say this is partially true yet not entirely accurate.
 
State biologist Jeff Hall tells The Charlotte Observer that there is a convergence of two types of frog and toad population explosions along the coast, which is causing a sudden increase in frogs and toads in the area. 
 
One of the population explosions was a result of the heavy rains that normally fall in June and July, while the other was caused by puddles from Hurricane Florence.
 
Biologist Jeff Hall tells The Outer Banks Voice that tree frogs breed in ditches, puddles or any bit of water they can find. When there’s a significant rain event, it’s not unusual to see tiny frogs a month or two later.
 
“I had one jump on my face laying in bed,” a Manteo resident tells the outlet. “And I had another in the kitchen on the cutting board. [They’re] everywhere!”
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Gecko Makes More Than a Dozen Phone Calls While Inside a Monk Seal Hospital
 
Unilever's Dove Brand Earns PETA Cruelty-Free Accreditation
 
Dog Breeder Charged With Felony Torture Afgter Illegally Cropping Ears
 
Cats May Not Be the Ultimate Hunters We Thought
 
Therapy Dogs Availale at Kent County Courts for Children and Special Needs Victims
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Cat Language 101: How Do Cats Talk to Each Other? https://www.petmd.com/news/view/cat-language-101-how-do-cats-talk-each-other-37620  
By Dr. Wailani Sung, DVM
 
Do cats talk to each other? Felines communicate with their peers through vocalizations, physical contact, visual cues and chemical cues. When communicating, cats exhibit subtle signaling compared to dogs due to their smaller features and quicker movements. If you blink your eye, you may have missed a crucial message from your cat.
 
If you want to know how cats communicate with each other, you must learn to read your cat’s body language.
 
Cat Language: Physical Cues
 
Pay special attention to the eyes, ears, tail and overall body posture. A cat that is feeling friendly and confident will hold his tail high in the air, his ears will be turned forward and his body will be tall.
 
If your cat is approaching another cat that she likes, the tip of the tail may be crooked forward. If your cat is feeling comfortable with the other cat’s presence, she may roll over enough to show her belly. This means she feels comfortable enough to show the other cat the most vulnerable part of her body. If your cat is uncertain or uncomfortable, she may crouch down, tuck her tail in along her body, and take a second to observe the cat.
 
Eye contact is another way cats communicate with each other. If your cat looks at another cat and blinks, she is telling them through cat body language that she is receptive to their approach and attention.
 
While interacting with another cat, if your cat looks away, licks her lips, crouches down, and pulls her ears to the side or flattens them on her head, this is an indication that your cat is feeling threatened and fearful.
 
When your cat feels threatened, she may display aggressive behavior. Showing aggression is one way of increasing distance from something your cat perceives as threatening. Cats who are hissing or growling with their backs and tails arched, their ears flattened against their heads, and their forelimbs close to their hind limbs may be on the verge of attacking. When agitated, many cats will also lash their tails from side to side.
 
Vocalization in Cat Language
 
Cats may use a meow or trill sound in greeting each other, but research has shown that cats tend to meow more when interacting with humans and do not use it often when they are interacting with each other. The meow appears to be a care-soliciting vocalization when directed towards people.
 
Purring is produced during inhalation and exhalation. Cats can purr when they are in contact with other cats, but also when they are contact with humans and objects. They purr when they are kneading blankets or rolling on the ground or rubbing on items.
 
While we assume that cats purr when they are happy, cats can also purr when they are not feeling well. Cat purring is a complex vocalization that needs to be studied further.
 
When a cat is feeling fearful, she may growl or hiss to tell the other cat to stay away or leave her alone. If the other cat does not listen and continues to approach, the first cat may escalate their vocalization to a snarl, spit or yowl prior to an attack. Cats can also howl when they are in distress.
 
Cat Communication Through Physical Contact
 
Cats can be very social. They greet each other through nose touches. They show affection by rubbing their heads against each other and along the sides of their bodies. Sometimes cats may even hook their tails and rub them together.
 
Cats typically do not rub against each other’s backs. This is why some cats do not tolerate long strokes along their backs. Their preferred contact areas are typically their head and along the sides of their bodies.
 
Chemical Signals and Cat Marking
 
When cats rub on each other and objects, they deposit pheromones and oils from the scent glands located on their foreheads, cheeks and chins. They also exchange scents when their bodies and tails rub against each other. Cats will also rub on prominent objects in the house to leave a scent trail and mark their territory.
 
Cats can also spray urine to mark their territory. It is not uncommon to see this behavior in cats who live outside or have access to the outdoors. However, spraying can sometimes occur inside the house. When this occurs, it may be in response to an outside cat being on the property or another stressor in your cat’s life.
 
Now that you have learned some cat language, take a minute to watch your kitties interact and see if you can decode their signals.
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Gecko Makes More Than a Dozen Phone Calls While Inside a Monk Seal Hospital https://www.petmd.com/news/strange-but-true/gecko-makes-more-dozen-phone-calls-while-inside-monk-seal-hospital-37618 Image via Twitter/Claire_Simeone
 
 
Last week a tiny gecko was caught accidentally calling people from inside the Ke Kai Ola Marine Mammal Center, a monk seal hospital in Hawaii.
 
According to the Twitter feed of director Dr. Claire Simeone, she became suspicious when she started getting calls from the hospital and was greeted with silence on the other end of the line. Once she received nine calls in 15 minutes, she assumed it was a seal emergency and drove back to the hospital. “Seal emergency? I’m on it,” she recounts in a Tweet.
 
After arriving at the hospital and realizing that there was no emergency, she enlisted the help of Hawaiian Telecom, the center’s phone company, who confirmed that “a bazillion calls” were coming from one telephone line inside the hospital.
 
Further investigation resulted in the discovery of a tiny gold dust day gecko perched on top of the laboratory's phone line. “THERE IS A GECKO SITTING ON THE TOUCHSCREEN OF THE PHONE, MAKING CALLS WITH HIS TINY GECKO FEET!!!,” Dr. Simeone recalls in a Tweet. “This gecko has called me 15 times, and everyone in our recent call list.”
 
What was the fate of the busy gecko? Dr. Simeone says, “I immediately hired gecko.” She placed him outside on a leaf so he can work from home.
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Unilever's Dove Brand Earns PETA Cruelty-Free Accreditation
 
Dog Breeder Charged With Felony Torture Afgter Illegally Cropping Ears
 
Cats May Not Be the Ultimate Hunters We Thought
 
Therapy Dogs Availale at Kent County Courts for Children and Special Needs Victims
 
Delaware Governor Signs Bill That Extends Animal Cruelty Laws to Protect Stray Cats
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Unilever's Dove Brand Earns PETA Cruelty-Free Accreditation https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/unilevers-dove-brand-earns-peta-cruelty-free-accreditation-37617 Image via iStock.com/mustafagull
 
On September 10, 2018, Unilever issued a press release announcing that they are supporting efforts to institute a global ban on animal testing. According to the statement, “Unilever today announced its support for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics as part of an ambitious new collaboration with animal protection leader Humane Society International (HSI).”
 
Animal testing for cosmetics has actually been banned since 2013 in the EU. Unilever is hoping that by supporting HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree initiative, they can help to encourage other countries to adopt a similar ban.
 
To further demonstrate their commitment to the cruelty-free cause, they also announced that their beauty and personal care brand, Dove, will be 100 percent cruelty-free moving forward.
 
On October 9, 2018, PETA published a blog article announcing that Dove has earned their “Cruelty-Free Stamp of Approval.” They explain, “Unilever is taking a stance on products tested on animals, and consumers will approve. First, Dove—one of the most widely recognized and conveniently available personal care product brands in the world—has banned all tests on animals anywhere in the world and has just been added to PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies cruelty-free list!”
 
Starting in 2019, the Dove products will also have PETA’s cruelty-free bunny logo on all their packaging.
 
PETA hopes that Unilever’s efforts will inspire other companies and reminds the public, “Always make sure that the products you buy are from the more than 3,500 cruelty-free companies that are included in PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies searchable global database of companies that don’t test on animals.”
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Dog Breeder Charged With Felony Torture Afgter Illegally Cropping Ears
 
Cats May Not Be the Ultimate Hunters We Thought
 
Therapy Dogs Availale at Kent County Courts for Children and Special Needs Victims
 
Delaware Governor Signs Bill That Extends Animal Cruelty Laws to Protect Stray Cats
 
Veterinarian Uses 3-D Printer to Repair Dachshund's Skull
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Dog Breeder Charged With Felony Torture After Illegally Cropping Ears https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/dog-breeder-charged-felony-torture-after-illegally-cropping-ears-37613 Image via iStock.com/DevidDO
 
 
Pennsylvania dog breeder Joan Huber faces charges that include felony torture after cutting puppies’ ears illegally for almost a year.
 
Huber, 82, faces a maximum sentence of 56 years in prison and fines up to $120,000 on eight counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, with four counts labeled as torture.
 
The breeder was initially convicted of animal cruelty in 2017 after she was discovered cropping puppies’ ears without using anesthesia or a veterinary license. She was put on house arrest shortly after and assigned a probation officer to monitor her activities.
 
For the following year, Hubert continued to crop puppies’ ears illegally—this time, she enlisted the help of kennel operators to house her dogs and grooming shop owners to provide a location for the operations. 
 
“It appears that she is having other kennel operators house animals for her, in an effort to continue operations,” Nicole Wilson, the director of humane law enforcement at the SPCA, tells Washington Post. “These people who are around her, who are continuing to support her actions, these people weren’t turning a blind eye.”
 
Ever since Huber was convicted last year, she has acquired a large support group who claim she was victimized by unfair laws attempting to regulate a common practice utilized for decades. Wilson argues that the main issue is people who believe they are immune to animal welfare laws.
 
“People say, ‘This is how we’ve always done it,’” she tells the outlet. “Well, guess what? Technology has improved. Medical practices have improved. Why do you think an old way of handling an animal hasn’t changed in 20 years? They’re trying to defend the indefensible.”
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Cats May Not Be the Ultimate Hunters We Thought
 
Therapy Dogs Availale at Kent County Courts for Children and Special Needs Victims
 
Delaware Governor Signs Bill That Extends Animal Cruelty Laws to Protect Stray Cats
 
Veterinarian Uses 3-D Printer to Repair Dachshund's Skull
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Cats May Not Be the Ultimate Hunters We Thought https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/cats-may-not-be-ultimate-hunters-we-thought-37612  
Ecologist Michael H. Parsons from Fordham University had planned to study rat pheromones and how they affect rat behavior. But after Michael and his team secured the location for their research, they realized there was going to be one big problem.
 
The rat-infested recycling plant in Brooklyn, New York, also had a very large population of feral cats. They researchers quickly realized that getting the rid of the cats was a fool’s game, and decided to realign their research focus. Parsons explains to Scientific American, “At some point we just said, ‘Wait a second, we don’t know what the rats will do around the cats.’”
 
They set up cameras all around the recycling facility and began documenting the interactions between cats and rats. Surprisingly, after analyzing more than 300 videos of cats and rats, what they found did not support the common belief of cats being the ultimate exterminators.
 
Parsons tells Scientific American, “The cats didn’t really bother [doing anything] when the rats were on the open floor.”
 
The cats who killed rats were actually few and far between, Scientific American says. “In the hundreds of videos there were only three kills (“all ambushes,” according to Parsons) and 20 stalking events. The cats had no real effect on the rat population, Parsons says.”
 
Parsons and his colleagues did notice that the rats behaved more cautiously when cats were present. According to Scientific American, other researchers who focus on feline and rodent interactions have commented and are not surprised by the findings. Cats will typically choose easy prey, and rats tend to be larger and more formidable foes.
 
This doesn’t mean that working cat programs aren’t worth it. Scientific American explains that, “organizations like the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals say programs putting feral cats to work are not entirely about pest control—and can sometimes be more about finding a home for neutered feral cats that cannot be adopted for various reasons.”
 
So while these cats may not be the ultimate pest control machines, providing a home for a feral cat is still a worthwhile and worthy choice.
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Therapy Dogs Availale at Kent County Courts for Children and Special Needs Victims
 
Delaware Governor Signs Bill That Extends Animal Cruelty Laws to Protect Stray Cats
 
Veterinarian Uses 3-D Printer to Repair Dachshund's Skull
 
Your Smartphone Is Making Your Dog Depressed, Study Says
 
Study Shows Uptown and Downtown Rats in New York Are Genetically Different
 
Helsinki Launches New Animal Protection Unit on Police Force
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Silver Star Brands, Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Drug Products for Humans and Animals Due to Microbial Contamination https://www.petmd.com/news/alerts-recalls/silver-star-brands-inc-issues-voluntarily-nationwide-recall-drug-products-humans-37611  
Company: Silver Star Brands, Inc.
Brand Name: PetAlive
Recall Date: 10/03/2018
 
 
PetAlive Plump-Up Pet oral spray (UPC: 818837013908)
Lot #: K011617E Expiration Date: 01/20
 
 
PetAlive Allergy Itch Ease oral spray (UPC: 818837011102)
Lot #: K111617B Expiration Date: 11/20
 
 
Reason for Recall:
Administration or use of drug products with microbial contamination could potentially result in increased infections that may require medical intervention and could result in infections that could be life threatening to certain individuals and animals. To date, Silver Star Brands, Inc. has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall.
 
What to Do:
Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Silver Star Brands, Inc. at 1-888- 736-6389 Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm CST or email Nativeremedies@silverstarbrands.com. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they believe they have experienced any problems that may be related to using this product.
Adverse reactions or quality problems associated with the use of this product may be reported to FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either by phone, on line, by regular mail or by fax.

Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm
Regular Mail or Fax: Download form www.fda.gov/MedWatch/getforms.htm or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.

The Center for Veterinary Medicine recommends calling the drug company to report adverse drug experiences or product defects for FDA-approved animal products. The drug company responsible for the approved product is required to submit these reports to FDA. Call 1-888-736- 6389.

If you prefer to report directly to the FDA, you can submit Form FDA 1932a by following the link to the form found at https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ReportaProblem/ucm055305.htm and following the instructions for emailing the completed form to FDA.
If you have a question about ADE reporting or need a paper copy of the form, contact CVM by email at AskCVM@fda.hhs.gov or by phone at 1-888-FDA-VETS (1-888-332-8387).

 
Source: FDA
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Therapy Dogs Available at Kent County Courts for Children and Special Needs Victims https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/therapy-dogs-available-kent-county-courts-children-and-special-needs-victims-37610 Image via WOOD TV8/Facebook
 
 
Kent County courts are now offering support dogs for children and adult special needs victims who have to testify in court. This new program came to fruition after Public Act 236 went into effect less than a week ago that allows dogs to be used by courts in Michigan.
 
Since the program kicked off last Wednesday, 24 pooches are available at the Kent County District Court on the East Beltline, the 61st District and Kent County circuit courts downtown to provide comfort for victims of crime.
 
Wood TV8 reports that many victims of crime say that testifying in court can be nearly as traumatizing as the event itself. “They’ve already gone through an initial trauma and coming back to retell their story so that justice can be served shouldn’t also be an additional trauma,” Kent County Circuit Judge Kathleen Feeney tells the outlet.
 
The courthouse plans to introduce the program gradually, which begins with limiting the victim’s interactions with the dogs to before and after their testimony only. If all goes well, dogs will be permitted to sit with the victim while court is in session.
 
“By having the therapy dogs available for them as they’re waiting as they come to court ... [it] will help them to remain calm, to not see this as a terrifying experience to add to their trauma,” Feeney tells the outlet.
 
With the passing of Public Act 236, Michigan now joins 35 other states that allow the practice in more than 155 courtrooms.
 
“It’s not just we’re guessing, there’s empirical evidence to support the fact that having dogs there provides this calming influence,” Feeney tells Wood TV8.
 
Each therapy dog used at Kent County courts will receive weeks of training from West Michigan Therapy Dogs, which includes the use of a staged courtroom and a child actor to represent the victim. 
 
“Anything unexpected that happens isn’t gonna rattle them, they’re not gonna have an adverse reaction because they’ve been through so much training,” Paula Nelson, vice president of West Michigan Therapy Dogs, tells the outlet.
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Delaware Governor Signs Bill That Extends Animal Cruelty Laws to Protect Stray Cats
 
Veterinarian Uses 3-D Printer to Repair Dachshund's Skull
 
Your Smartphone Is Making Your Dog Depressed, Study Says
 
Study Shows Uptown and Downtown Rats in New York Are Genetically Different
 
Helsinki Launches New Animal Protection Unit on Police Force
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Delaware Governor Signs Bill That Extends Animal Cruelty Laws to Protect Stray Cats https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/delaware-governor-signs-bill-extends-animal-cruelty-laws-protect-stray-cats-37609 Image via iStock/tracielouise
 
On Monday, October 1, Governor John Carney of Delaware signed a landmark bill into law that would give stray cats the same protection under animal cruelty laws as domestic cats.
 
The bill was a collaborative effort between Best Friends Animal Society, Brandywine Valley SPCA, Faithful Friends Animal Society, Delaware Humane Association, Forgotten Cats of Delaware, the Office of Animal Welfare, the veterinary community, the wildlife community and the public.
 
This bill will provide more support for humane stray cat population management.
 
Delaware Online explains, “It allows shelters to house strays beyond the typical stray hold timeline, supports a sterilization and vaccination program for the animals and ensures that animal cruelty laws are applied equally to cats without a home or owner.”
 
This is a giant step forward for Delaware in their efforts to care and manage the stray cat populations within the state.
 

Video via Delaware Online
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Veterinarian Uses 3-D Printer to Repair Dachshund’s Skull https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/veterinarian-uses-3-d-printer-repair-dachshunds-skull-37607 Image via University of Guelph/Facebook
 
 
A veterinarian in Ontario successfully replaced a portion of a dog’s skull after discovering it had to come out in order to remove the cancerous tumor that was forming near her brain. A first for North American veterinarians, Dr. Michelle Oblak used a 3-D printer to create the custom titanium plate that would save Patches the Dachshund’s life.
 
“The technology has grown so quickly, and to be able to offer this incredible, customized, state-of-the-art plate in one of our canine patients was really amazing,” Dr. Oblak says in a statement released by Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). 
 
When Dr. Oblak, a veterinary surgical oncologist at the University of Guelph’s OVC, realized she had to replace about 70 percent of the top surface of the dog’s skull, she knew she had to get creative.
 
So she teamed up with a Sheridan College engineer to create a 3-D model of the dog’s head and tumor, and utilized Ontario-based 3-D medical printing company, ADEISS, to print the piece.
 
According to the statement, the piece fit perfectly into Patches’ skull during surgery. “She was asleep for about five hours, and within about half an hour after surgery, Patches was alert and looking around. It was amazing,” Dr. Oblak says.
 
Dr. Oblak says she sees the potential for 3-D printed implant technology to be used for people.
 
“In human medicine, there is a lag in use of the available technology while regulations catch up. By performing these procedures in our animal patients, we can provide valuable information that can be used to show the value and safety of these implants for humans,” she tells the OVC.
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Your Smartphone Is Making Your Dog Depressed, Study Says
 
Study Shows Uptown and Downtown Rats in New York Are Genetically Different
 
Helsinki Launches New Animal Protection Unit on Police Force
 
Ohio Councilman Considers Jail Time for Owners of Barking Dogs
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Your Smartphone Is Making Your Dog Depressed, Study Says https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/your-smartphone-making-your-dog-depressed-study-says-37606 Image via iStock.com/damircudic
 
 
A UK-based study found that dogs may be become anxious or depressed when their owners use their smartphones excessively. Unsurprisingly, the study also found that dogs react similarly when their owners ignore them, according to ABC 11.
 
“We’re a nation obsessed by our mobile phones,” veterinary surgeon and founder of VetUK, Iain Booth, tells MetroUK. “But this gadget dependence is jeopardising the important relationships we have with our pets, particularly dogs and to a lesser extent, house cats.”
 
According to Fox 13, the study also found that cats don’t care nearly as much about their owner’s smartphone usage when compared to dogs.
 
Booth says that smartphone usage affects dogs more than cats because dogs naturally depend on their owners to be their “pack leader.” He explains that a dog is hard-wired to look for your feedback and interaction--and if you are always on your phone, that bond breaks down.
 
“A dog is a social creature, a pack animal. And to the dog you are the bona fide leader of the pack,” Booth tells MetroUK.
 
Booth tells Metro that the symptoms of depression in dogs include a lack of interest in food, an increase in sleep, and excessive licking or chewing paws.
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Study Shows Uptown and Downtown Rats in New York Are Genetically Different
 
Helsinki Launches New Animal Protection Unit on Police Force
 
Ohio Councilman Considers Jail Time for Owners of Barking Dogs
 
Kangaroo on the Loose in Jupiter Farms, Florida, Surprised Residents
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Study Shows Uptown and Downtown Rats in New York Are Genetically Different https://www.petmd.com/news/strange-but-true/study-shows-uptown-and-downtown-rats-new-york-are-genetically-different-37605 Image via iStock/johnandersonphoto
 
The rats in New York are notorious for their large size and fearless attitude. From carrying pizza up a staircase to climbing onto unsuspecting subway passengers, New York rats are as much a part of life in Manhattan as traffic is.
 
For one graduate student and his colleagues, the rats in New York are proving to be a very interesting subject matter for study. Matthew Combs and his colleagues from Fordham University are conducting a study that involves trapping and sequencing the DNA of New York rats in order to create a comprehensive genetic portrait.
 
The study provided some very interesting insights into the genetic origins and variances amongst rats in New York. It turns out that New York rats are still very genetically similar to their Western European ancestors, especially Great Britain and France.
 
These rats arrived on ships when New York was still a British colony. The Atlantic explains, “Combs was surprised to find Manhattan’s rats so homogenous in origin. New York has been the center of so much trade and immigration, yet the descendants of these Western European rats have held on.”
 
As they dove deeper into the DNA sequencing of New York rats, they found that within the Manhattan population of rats, there were distinct subpopulations. The two genetically distinguishable populations consist of uptown and downtown rats.
 
There seems to be a genetic barrier in the midtown area. The Atlantic explains, “It’s not that midtown is rat-free—such a notion is inconceivable—but the commercial district lacks the household trash (aka food) and backyards (aka shelter) that rats like. Since rats tend to move only a few blocks in their lifetimes, the uptown rats and downtown rats don’t mix much.”
 
They not only found a genetic difference between uptown and downtown rats in New York, but also a difference between rat neighborhoods. Combs explains to The Atlantic, “If you gave us a rat, we could tell whether it came from the West Village or the East Village.”
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Helsinki Launches New Animal Protection Unit on Police Force https://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/helsinki-launches-new-animal-protection-unit-police-force-37603 Image via iStock.com/scanrail
 
In Helsinki, Finland, the police department has decided to establish a specialized unit that will focus on animal rights and animal protection.
 
According to Yle News, “The department's chief investigator, Jonna Turunen, said that the unit will work closely with veterinarians and other groups such as animal rights organisations.” The special animal protection unit will collaborate with the police and other authorities as well to deal with animal issues throughout Helsinki.
 
Yle News explains, “The Helsinki police animal unit, the first of its kind in the country, will be responsible for helping to resolve animal-related conflicts between owners, hunting offenses, animal breeding violations and the illegal import of animals.”
 
This will not only free up the general police department’s time, but it will also ensure that animal-related offenses are treated with specialized knowledge and dealt with appropriately.
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Ohio Councilman Considers Jail Time for Owners of Barking Dogs
 
Kangaroo on the Loose in Jupiter Farms, Florida, Surprised Residents
 
Blind Dog Uses Seeing Eye Dog to Get Around
 
Humboldt Broncos Bus Crash Survivor Meets His New Service Dog 
 
Sleeping Grandpa Raises More Than $20,000 for Special Needs Kitten Shelter
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Ohio Councilman Considers Jail Time for Owners of Barking Dogs https://www.petmd.com/news/strange-but-true/ohio-councilman-considers-jail-time-owners-barking-dogs-37602 Photo via BoulderPhoto/Shutterstock.com
 
 
The city council in Akron, Ohio is considering an ordinance that allows jail time for pet owners whose dogs repeatedly disturb the neighborhood by continuously barking. 
 
Currently, a pet owner with a barking dog will receive a $100 fine, no matter how many times they are cited for their dog barking.
 
According to 13 WTHR, councilman Russ Neal has received dozens of calls about the barking problem in Akron, which Neal attributes to pet owners leaving their dogs outside while they’re at work.
 
To solve the issue, Neal is proposing that repeat offenders of the ordinance receive an increased fine of $250 for their second offense, as well as the possibility of spending 60 days in jail for continued offenses.
 
“What we want to see is a stiffer penalty so that repeat offenders of the ordinance will think twice before allowing the dog to continue to disturb the neighborhood,” Neal tells Fox 8.
 
The harshening of the penalties of breaking the ordinance is also hoped to free up the time of the city police. After hours, the police are responsible for responding to calls about dog barking, so less barking will allow them to spend more time addressing other, more urgent matters.
 
Neal tells 13 WTHR he plans to put together a citizen’s advisory council before passing the stiffer barking legislation.
 
“We’re just trying to find something that lets people know we’re serious about this,” Neal tells the outlet. “And no one is charged that fee right off the bat.”
 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Kangaroo on the Loose in Jupiter Farms, Florida, Surprised Residents
 
Blind Dog Uses Seeing Eye Dog to Get Around
 
Humboldt Broncos Bus Crash Survivor Meets His New Service Dog 
 
Sleeping Grandpa Raises More Than $20,000 for Special Needs Kitten Shelter
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Kangaroo on the Loose in Jupiter Farms, Florida, Surprises Residents https://www.petmd.com/news/strange-but-true/kangaroo-loose-jupiter-farms-florida-surprises-residents-37598 Image via Greg Brave/Shutterstock.com
 
UPDATE: As of Thurdsay, Sept. 27, Storm the kangaroo has been located and caught. 
 
Early Tuesday morning on Sept. 25, a few of the residents of Jupiter Farms, Florida were met with quite a surprising sight. A kangaroo had escaped from its animal sanctuary and was seen hopping around the roads.
 
One citizen posted a video of her encounter with the kangaroo on Facebook and it has quickly been picked up by news outlets and shared across Facebook.
 
The kangaroo, identified as Storm, a 4-foot-tall male, escaped from Eric Westergard’s home Monday evening, where Storm lives with six other kangaroos. Westergard explains to The Palm Beach Post that while his kangaroos are mostly laid back, sometimes they can get spooked by loud noises or perceived predators, which can cause them to flee.
 
It is rare for the owner of exotic animals to come forward if their animal goes missing, as owners are usually missing the proper paperwork to legally house the exotic animals. But, this is not the case with Storm. Westergard has all the proper licenses for his kangaroos and is working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to find Storm and bring him back home.
 
As of Wednesday morning, Sept. 26, WPBF 25 News reports that Storm the kangaroo is still on the loose.
 

 
 
For more interesting new stories, check out these articles: 
 
Blind Dog Uses Seeing Eye Dog to Get Around
 
Humboldt Broncos Bus Crash Survivor Meets His New Service Dog 
 
Sleeping Grandpa Raises More Than $20,000 for Special Needs Kitten Shelter
 
Recent Study Shows Why It's so Important to Clean Dog Bowls
 
5 Gray Squirrels Rescued After Tails Became Entwined
 
Reporter Stops Live Stream to Save Therapy Dog From Flooding
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